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Showing posts from January, 2015

Would you still love Asparagus if it grew all year long?

I like to read old gardening books. Old weight lifting books. Old history and economics books... I like to see what people "used to think." It turns out, they used to think the same things we still think. And what they "discovered" as something new, eventually gets discovered by us as something new. Crazy. Of course, in gardening, they often had a few things wrong or different due to a limited understanding of genetics and technology. I recently read a very interesting book about improving productivity in strawberries. It was from the early 1900s. It had a couple of interesting "new ideas" that I'm going to implement this summer. The most striking part of the book was a mention of the author's home garden. His asparagus bed alone was 50 feet by 40 feet (2000 square feet of asparagus!) My entire garden is 130 square feet. That's it. And I have three lone asparagus plants. Three asparagus plants on the corner of this bed, sharing space wi

Jump Start your Health and Join the 2015 Vionic Walkabout

Now that January is coming to an end (and New Year's resolutions are long forgotten) it's time to get ready for  Vionic 's 2015 Walkabout  (co-sponsored by Dr. Weil.)  Sign up now for the   February 1st   start date, and  pledge to walk everyday for 30 days to improve your health and well being!     Why should we walk?:  Walking can improve your health. In fact, our bodies were made to walk!! Walking is weight bearing exercise that not only benefits your heart and lungs, but also increases your lean muscle mass, improves your balance & agility, and improves lymph circulation.   It can also improve your mood and get you outside to enjoy the natural world (or even the material world if you'd like to take up mall walking.)   It's also easier than most other exercises, making it something you start (at your own pace) and can stick with.   Set a goal, join the Walkabout pledge, and strap on some proper walking shoes. The start to a health

Using Christmas Trees as Mulch for the Garden

Walking through the neighborhood the other day, I was surprised to see "used" Christmas trees lying in people's front lawns. I saw two of them in a span of 3 blocks and it's the middle of January. I thought about them the during the entire walk. I wanted them.... My half mulched garden bed No - I am not a hoarder. Well unless we're talking about seeds, toilet paper, organic materials, and gardening supplies. Then I guess I might be... One night after swim practice, we swung by the trash to spit out some gum and I noticed a half-eaten apple core in the garbage. I asked my kids, "is it wrong that I want to take that apple home?" Not to eat, but to compost.  It takes everything in me not to knock on my neighbor's doors and ask for the leaf bags they set out with the trash each fall (in fact, I've decided that I'm asking from now on...and I might as well ask for their coffee grounds too.) And so it is with the Christmas trees. I wa

Should you dehydrate lemons and lemon zest

A few weeks ago, I came across a great deal on Meyer lemons. I love these and wanted to prolong their use. I happened to be in a "dehydrating phase" at the time and decided I would preserve some of the lemons. Lemon rings, porcini mushrooms, zucchini The result? They were beautiful and smelled amazing. But they were horrible for any practical use. Eating them was painful (they were extremely sour and very pithy/bitter.) I thought I could use them to flavor water or to cook with fish, but the bitter pith taste was the standout in both cases. Also....they rehydrated themselves within a week - meaning they would become a food hazard. So I chopped some of them up to add to homemade soaps. They made the soap smell wonderful and probably did a good job exfoliating, but they made the soap fall apart. In the end, I froze them in cubes of water and used them as garbage disposal cleaning cubes. A horrible waste of a really good lemon... And in case you were wondering, I a

Kobayakawa and Eat Me If You Can Game Review

Disclosure: I received complimentary games for review purposes. No compensation was received and the links in this post are not tied to affiliate payouts or any other incentive.  We are always looking for new "family" games that we can play together. We just had the opportunity to review Kobayakawa and Eat Me If You Can - two "mini-games" that have just launched. I think they are called "mini-games" because they come in small boxes with a limited number of pieces. But they are not "mini" on fun. Both would easily travel and could be played well with a family of 4. Of the two, Eat Me If You Can is my favorite. It's a fun, fast paced game that can accommodate up to 6 players. Both games rely on strategy and "bluffing." It's good family fun for everyone. I would highly recommend both games.